Thursday, December 11, 2003
Don't Expect a LandslideTaken with Atrios' Bush v. Straw (see Aziz' post below) we have two compelling frameworks within which we should move forward -- and boldly forward at that!
As Howard Dean emerges as the front-runner in the Democratic race for president, many Republicans think he's the easiest candidate for President Bush to defeat. The New York Times says "Republicans have been longing for a Bush-Dean matchup," saying Dean's positions "would open the door to a Republican landslide in November." And the Washington Times once again compares Dean to George McGovern who lost 49 states in 1972.
Here's why I expect the presidential race to be close, regardless of the Democratic nominee:
Bush has significantly less support from Democrats than Ronald Reagan did. Even Bill Clinton, hated by so many Republicans, had more friends among members of the opposition party. Without greater support among Democrats, Bush can not win in a landslide.
It's very hard to pull off a landslide when you're not likely to win three of the five largest states. In 2000, Bush wasn't even competitive in California, New York or Illinois. He lost all three states by more than 12 percent. That's 109 electoral votes in just those states.
Finally, nearly every national poll shows the country is more polarized than it has been in decades. As in 2000, we're still very much a 50-50 nation. (See the forthcoming book, The Two Americas by pollster Stan Greenberg.) Indeed, it's been nearly 16 years since any presidential candidate even won a majority of the vote. A blowout of 1972 or 1984 proportions would require an extraordinary set of circumstances that are not present today.
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Obama 2008 - I want my country back
Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.